Sunday, July 15, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - July 15, 2012

The sky this morning is not so clear as there is a thick haze surrounding the sky thus making my solar imaging session this morning a little harder. Despite some body ache probably caused by signs of flu,I still proceeded with my plans to image AR11520 before it totally exits the Sun's SW limb in the days to come. I decided to revert back to using the ATK-1HS II webcam after some test with the Canon video mode. I also tested the collimation of the Meade 8" f/10 SCT on the Sun as well to see how it goes with the Baader 3.8 solar filter since I cannot use the SCT with the Herschel Wedge as it is optimized for refractor use only. I started out doing Ha wavelength imaging with the Coronado PST-Ha and can see the very active AR11520/21/19 region which displays numerous dark filaments and flares as well as numerous moderate size eruptive prominences near the SW limb. New AR11523 Sunspot Group is showing signs of getting active but is still pale compare to the AR11520/21/19 region. AR11518 Sunspot Group is very silent in its core. I also got to do high resolution shot of AR11520 and AR11521 Sunspot Groups through the 8" and AR11520 Sunspot Group almost fill the entire frame even without using a 2x barlow lens. I also got to image the Sun in full disk white light with the Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 with EF 1.4x II extender through thick haze which got worse when I was about to image the Sun in full disk :( Overall, I'm happy with the results today despite the weather condition.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - July 12, 2012

I got home from work and find some sunlight still lurking out from my laundry area! Despite obvious thick haze, bad seeing and close proximity of the Sun near the edge of our rooftop obstruction, my solar itchiness nevertheless forced me to still do some imaging despite that poor condition and below is an image of full disk white light as well as close up image of AR11520, 11521 and 11519 Sunspot Group in one frame. I use the Canon video feature again this afternoon and I think the CMOS sensor doesn't give me that much contrast at high res and I might revert back to using the ATK-1HS II webcam again tomorrow if I got some clearings again :0

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Solar Imagng Session - July 8, 2012

The sky this morning is partly clear but seeing was very terrible. Even through full disk shot, I could see the seeing was very poor :( I started out this morning with white light imaging as I want to check out AR11515 and the new AR11520 Sunspot Group that is coming out of the SE limb.I tried a new approach this morning using the video mode of the Canon EOS 500D compared to my traditional ATK-1HS II webcam at high resolution. Since the seeing was very bad, I cant say it is better than my trusty ATK-1HS II webcam but it looks promising and I might retry it again next weekend before I determine its performance.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lunar Imaging Session - July 8, 2012

After doing some errand trip this evening, I set up again to do some lunar imaging to further test the video capability of my Canon  EOS 500D DSLR. Images look promising despite bad seeing.IMHO. Aside from full disk imaging, I also try 2x and 5x barlow imaging as well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lunar Imaging Session - July 6, 2012 (First Astro Light with the ATK-16HR )

Despite a very bad weather this afternoon that wiped out my chance to image the Sun, I was still hopeful that I could still be able to image the Moon as my first light on the ATK-16HR.  The chance of finally be able to get my first shot came this evening when the sky was partly cloudy with some small openings in the sky. I quickly set up the scope and started to wait from 10:00pm till 11:43pm before I could finally image the Waning Gibbous Moon with the ATK-16HR through LRGB filters,  Unfortunately, Im still learning how to align an LRGB or RGB color Moon shot yet so I would just initially share a luminance image of the Moo taken through my TV-101 refractor at prime focus.

The initial image looks promising and noise is low as well with its thermo electric cooling the CCD sensor 25 deg C below my ambient temp of 29 deg C when I was imaging, Looking forward to finally test it out on the real thing...... DSO (Deep Sky Object) !!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - July 1, 2012 (2 Huge Eruptive Prominences !!! )

The sky this morning is clear and seeing was also good.  Unfortunately, I had to tend to other stuff in the house this morning thus I was only able to image past lunchtime which means I had only a very limited time frame left again for me to do it :(

The Sun is getting active again after a week of low solar activity.  There are more than 5 sunspot groups on the Sun today with AR11515 being the biggest group and is visible in the SE quadrant. There is a huge eruptive prominence that is visible in the SE limb as well as a huge caterpillar like hedgerow prominence in the NE limb. Also visible is a faint large eruptive prominence visible near the northern limb.  AR11516 Sunspot Group show a very active flare activity inside its core despite its size.  Numerous dark filaments also surround AR11516 and AR11513 Sunspot Group area.

A very long faint dark filament can also be seen near the SW limb.  As much as I want to do white light imaging of the Sun today, I'm sad that I wasn't able to because of the tight skeds in the morning.  Anyway, a little more patience and 1.5 months to go for me to get back to regular solar imaging and observation session after the Sun reverts back to its easterly rising again.